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Archive for December, 2008

Ringing in the New Queer – With George Bush?!

Posted by amy On December - 31 - 2008

Well, after 8 years of discrimination with a smile, Bush turned a corner that has officially shocked me, but I’m not about to complain.  Yesterday, Bush signed Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 into law! This new bill provides important protections for LGBT families and is something we should celebrate!  At Join the Impact, we come together in one very hard and long struggle.  Let’s take this moment to come together in celebration.  Tonight, as you ring in the new year, do so with the knowledge that we are ONE STEP CLOSER to achieving full equality for all!  This is a win worth celebrating.

Tomorrow is not just a new day, it’s a new year in the fight for equal rights.  What do you resolve to do?  I resolve to DOUBLE our impact on November 15th 2009 with over 2 million people protesting world-wide.  I resolve to have MANY more celebrations of equal rights gained as marriage passes in many states, Prop 8 gets repealed, and Obama begins to act on the promises he made us.  I resolve to continue my conversations of equality.  I resolve to not be the victim and instead be the victor.  I resolve to be a 1st Class Citizen.

Happy New Queer!

Tools for the Week

Posted by amy On December - 29 - 2008

So this is a little late, but with the holidays and all, I got a bit backed up.  So here is a special MONDAY installment of last weeks many tools for change that came out of the woodwork:

  1. The Yes on 8 Campaign filed a brief to revoke the 18,000 marriages created while same-sex civil marriage was legal in California.  In an instant, the Courage Campaign responded with a fantastic photo petition to shed light on the hypocrisy of this request to Protect Marriage by Forcing Divorce.  Please join in this amazing petition by putting a face on the families that Prop 8 is forcing into divorce.
  2. Last week, we announced the brutal gang rape of a Richmond, CA lesbian.  This brutal hate crime must be known to the entire nation.  We MUST show the nation that when anti-gay legislation passes, those who violently hate are given a stronger sense of entitlement to act on that hate.  Few people understand that their actions do affect others.  When anti-gay laws are in place, it dominoes our society into horrible acts of violence like this one.  Last Tuesday I spoke with the chief of the Richmond PD and learned about a trust fund that is being setup for the victim.  The money will go toward getting her and her partner into a safe and more secure neighborhood, paying hospital bills, and more.  We created a facebook page where you can donate.
  3. In response to this brutal rape, LezGetReal.com posted further information about the attackers so that local volunteers can help canvas the streets to bring these men to justice.
  4. Want to respond to Rick Warren at the inauguration?  Wear a rainbow armband or white knot if you are attending.  Click Here for more information.
  5. Finally, we have posted the Open Letter to Barack Obama and signature sheets on The Impact.  Please start gathering signatures for this… the goal is to have 1 Million Signatures by January 10th.  We want this to be organic – Internet signatures do not go as far (this is why the photo petition being done by the Courage Campaign has much more authority than an online petition without proof that the signer is legit). On January 10th, we ask that you join one of many National DOMA Protests or grab some friends and canvas the streets of your neighborhood for signatures.  Our Jan 10th Goal is to get 1 Million Signatures, whether it be through one of our 100 national protests or canvasing, that’s up to you.

Visibility in the Face of Rick Warren

Posted by amy On December - 29 - 2008

Tonight- Show your support

Posted by willow On December - 27 - 2008

December 13 a woman in the San Francisco Bay area experienced the unthinkable. She was brutally gang raped by four men because she is a lesbian. Tonight in Richmond people will come together in response to this brutal hate crime to show the victim that she is not alone.

For those in the Richmond area:

Candlelight vigil & Protest Against Hate Crimes

When: Tonight, Saturday 12/27/08 from 9:30-10:00

Where: 1500 Visalia Ave.. Richmond, CA

Note: Please bring a candle and do your best to carpool out of respect for the neighborhood.

Sponsors: Hand To Hand Self Defense and Community United Against Violence

For those outside the Richmond area please light a candle and hold your support in your hearts.

A Facebook page has been set up for information on how to donate funds to help the victim with expenses such as counseling and time away from work.

http://www.facebook.com/n/?event.php&eid=40712604850

Unfortunate News – We Must Respond

Posted by amy On December - 23 - 2008

Join The Impact is about visibility. It’s about showing this country that if you mess with one of us, you have to face ALL of us. It’s about uniting as one strong and fierce community to gain the basic human rights that EVERY HUMAN BEING DESERVES. It’s about coming together to celebrate, and coming together to mourn.

On December 13th, a woman in the San Francisco Bay area was brutally beaten and gang raped for being a lesbian. The news just broke a little under 9 hours ago. We need to let this woman know that she is not alone. We need to let her know that our ENTIRE community is there for her. For her safety, her name has not been released. I have spoken with the Richmond, CA police department and learned that there are some initiatives already underway to support her. Soon, a trust will be setup where people can donate directly to her, which will help her get on her feet and feel more secure. I will keep everyone posted when that is set. Also, the Richmond PD is checking to see if we can send letters and holiday cards to any specific destination that can then deliver those letters to her.

First we must show her that she is not alone. Next, we must show the nation that we will not stand for this! On January 10th we are having national rallies to protest DOMA and remind President-Elect Barack Obama of the promises he made in his Open Letter to the Gay Community. We must also focus on stronger hate crimes legislation and use this time as an opportunity to bring attention to this horrible crime, and the 1400 hate crimes that occur each year against the LGBTQ community. We will work with you on ideas to ensure this happens.

From my conversation with the Richmond PD, it is clear that they are taking this issue to heart and working hard on behalf of this woman. Not all cities and towns are like this. We need to work together as a community to ensure that atrocities like this do not go unnoticed, or unpunished. We need to make it harder for someone to hurt another just because they are LGBTQ. We need to show the nation that hatred toward our community is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

While you celebrate your holidays, I encourage you to start the conversation of equality by making everyone aware of this horrible atrocity. Share her story with friends and family. Tell allies, and tell those who do not yet understand. In a world where the government does not see us as equal, an expectation is set for everyone, and it is a low one. If our government does not see us as worthy, why should others? The final quote in the article sums it up perfectly: “Anytime there is an anti-LGBT initiative, we tend to see spikes both in the numbers and the severity of attacks… People feel this extra entitlement to act out their prejudice.”

People NEED to learn about this event. Too many people think that Matthew Sheppard was the last to be attacked (as crazy as that sounds, it’s true). We need to be visible in EVERY WAY and, too often, events like this go unnoticed. Too few people understand how the treatment of our community under the law, drives “extra entitlement” for those that hate us. We are better than this! Our country is and should be better than this! NO MORE SILENCE!

UPDATE – the JoinTheImpact Alliance Coordinator created an event on Facebook to raise money:
Event: Help A Sister Out
“Benefit for Hate Rape Victim”
What: Fundraiser
Host: Matt Flanders
Start Time: Tuesday, December 22 at 5:00pm
End Time: Thursday, December 31 at 5:00pm
Where: From Your Heart

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?event.php&eid=40712604850

Take a STAND on January 10th

Posted by amy On December - 22 - 2008

Across the country in hundreds of cities, we came together on December 20th in vigil. This was a protest in the spirit of the holiday season, and one that helped us reach 1 Million people with our message of equality. While we didn’t change the hearts and minds of all 1 Million, we did change the lives of many. This highly successful event grew our base, and that growth will show with our next goal: 1 Million Signatures.

On January 10th, 2009 we ask that you join us to unite again! This movement WILL NOT BE WON WITHOUT VISIBILITY. 50 Cities across the country have already jumped on board to organize. And that’s just in a few days of planning. We got 300 cities with 1 week of notice on November 15th. We can easily exceed that this time around. So, on January 10th, we ask that you join us in your city for one or all of the following events:

  • A protest in your area to bring attention to DOMA and the promise that Barack Obama made to repeal DOMA.
  • Organize a transportation unit in your city to get people to the closest DOMA protest
  • Canvas your city to get signatures for our Open Letter to Barack Obama.

In response to President-elect Barack Obama’s “Open Letter to the Gay Community,” we ask that you join us in signing our “Open Letter to Barack Obama,” to be revealed soon. It’s time we show the government how numerous we are. We need to show our impact and we’re going to take it to the White House!

The work done over this weekend will help us achieve and exceed this important goal. Help us get 1 Million signatures, and we’ll get it the letter in Obama’s hands.

Light Up the Night – Videos From Around the Nation

Posted by amy On December - 21 - 2008

If anyone asks you what JoinTheImpact is, you tell them “You’re looking at it.” YOU ARE THE IMPACT. Last night, it was YOU that stood up and demanded change! It was YOU who said that you will not be silenced anymore. It was YOU who touched 1 million people with the message of equality. YOU lit up the night! YOU are this movement. YOU are the hope for equality. YOU ARE THE IMPACT!

Watch Your Impact:

News Stories:

Rex Wockner

Q News

Towleroad

Google News Link

Join the Impact Press Release

Light Up the Night Illuminates 1 Million Lives!

Posted by amy On December - 21 - 2008

I’m still sorting through emails and phone calls, but can say with great confidence that tonight’s vigils reached over 1 million people! Our amazing volunteers (all of you!) trudged through crazy snowstorms, rain, and traffic to ensure that their light could shine bright on the sea of change! Over 1 million 5 Rights Holiday Cards were passed out and hundreds of thousands had important conversations, educating the nation about our struggle.

In my own experience, I was met with eyes of confusion, disbelief, and even offense. Many people were angered that I wore the slogan “2nd Class Citizen.” Anger is an emotion that is extremely powerful, yet fleeting. If handled correctly, it can be changed into something extremely positive. People joined our march as they walked from point A to point B, they grabbed flyers and handed them out, one even started chanting for equality. And those who were angry, you ask? Well, some remained that way and didn’t want to speak. Others, took a moment to talk. Many, walked away with a feeling of new understanding. One elderly man told me that he will be at our next rally, and he was sorry he hadn’t understood before.

1 Million people educated

1 Million people touched

1 Million people reached

1 Million people illuminated.

Press Release Here.

Light Up the Night Illuminates 1 Million Lives!

Posted by admin On December - 21 - 2008

I’m still sorting through emails and phone calls, but can say with great confidence that tonight’s vigils reached over 1 million people! Our amazing volunteers (all of you!) trudged through crazy snowstorms, rain, and traffic to ensure that their light could shine bright on the sea of change! Over 1 million 5 Rights Holiday Cards were passed out and hundreds of thousands had important conversations, educating the nation about our struggle.

In my own experience, I was met with eyes of confusion, disbelief, and even offense. Many people were angered that I wore the slogan “2nd Class Citizen.” Anger is an emotion that is extremely powerful, yet fleeting. If handled correctly, it can be changed into something extremely positive. People joined our march as they walked from point A to point B, they grabbed flyers and handed them out, one even started chanting for equality. And those who were angry, you ask? Well, some remained that way and didn’t want to speak. Others, took a moment to talk. Many, walked away with a feeling of new understanding. One elderly man told me that he will be at our next rally, and he was sorry he hadn’t understood before.

1 Million people educated

1 Million people touched

1 Million people reached

1 Million people illuminated.

Press Release Here.

In a roller coaster ride of hypocrisy yesterday, the Yes on 8 Campaign filed a brief to revoke the 18,000 marriages of same-sex couples that were made between June 16th and November 4th. Yes that’s right, the very people who have sworn that their actions were meant to “protect” marriage and families, are now trying to FORCE 18,000 FAMILIES INTO DIVORCE! How does this protect marriage or the family at all?!

Do they understand how this takes their entire argument one gigantic step backwards? Granted, their arguments have always been illogical, but this just seems to take the cake. How is it possible to protect marriages and family by saying to the nation that it’s imperative the state force 18,000 families into a state of divorce? Seeing the lack of logic in their argument, the CA Attorney General quickly filed a motion to revoke Proposition 8! This was a surprise change of mind on his part and part of me wonders if the Yes on 8 hypocrisy sparked this.

That’s the message that we need to BURN into the minds of everyone around the country:
NO FORCED DIVORCE!

This effects everyone of us, regardless of the state we live in. I have heard a lot of people say lately “Why should something in California effect me?” It’s simple: If it can happen in California, it can happen ANYWHERE with ANY of our RIGHTS! In Ohio, for instance, Domestic Partnership Registries were just passed (at the city level in Cleveland). This is simply a registry – something where you can document that you’re partners. How does this harm anyone? Well, a group of proponents to this initiative have already begun planning their own version of Prop 8 to take away this registry. In Arkansas, same-sex couples were denied the right to adopt. Throughout the nation, 37 states have DOMA written into their constitution. TONIGHT is the time to illuminate the hate with love, knowledge, visibility, and honesty. NO ONE has a right to force my family into divorce!

Tonight is your opportunity to spread this message far and wide! Show the nation what our struggle is all about! Let’s LIGHT UP THE NIGHT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS!

Good Luck to ALL of you tonight. And thank you SO MUCH for all of your hard work!